From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Collection for the U.S. Church will be taken Mother's Day weekend

the Inland Register

(From the May 2, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

Six important areas in the life of the American Catholic Church are given financial assistance in the second of the Spokane Diocese's four annual collections. They are Catholic Communications, Catholic University of America, Black and Native American Missions, Catholic Home Missions, Retirement Fund for Religious, and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Parishioners will receive letters explaining about the collection, which will be taken the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12. Brochures are also being distributed in parishes, explaining the collection's purpose.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

The CCHD is one of the most important works of the church to eliminate poverty. Funds in the CCHD are used as seed money to help the poor develop self-sustaining projects. The CCHD does more than just fund self-help projects, however. It also provides resources for justice and poverty education, and has recently stepped up efforts to educate Catholics about such issues. A recent survey indicated that only three percent of Catholics consider poverty to be a major social issue. One of the resources is a website that gives statistics and shows what it means to live in poverty. A slogan on the website reads, "Give a hand up, not a hand-out."

Catholic Home Missions

Missionary work is done in the United States and its territories, helping Catholics who live in remote areas have a sense of church. For instance, in the Aleutian Islands, Catholics only have Mass once a month. Donations are used to train catechists and lay ministers and to provide religious education materials. Funds are also used for priests who must travel long distances to serve their parishioners, such as in Alaska.

Black and Native American Missions

The church has been helping Black and Native American communities since 1885. ome of the neediest people in the U.S. have been helped through this program, which can be found in almost every archdiocese and diocese in the United States.

Grant money is used to help train lay catechists, and for evangelization and religious education in parishes.

Catholic Communications

The good news of the Gospel message is needed now more than ever. Millions of people are touched by the work of Catholic Communications, sharing the joy and meaning of the Catholic faith. Movies, television programs on PBS, ABC, NBC and EWTN, and public service announcements in English and Spanish promoting family ties and regular church attendance, help Catholics connect to Christ and help their understanding of the meaning of life.

Another important service is a Movie Review Line (1-800-311-4222).

These are a few examples of how the Church follows in the footsteps of the early Christians in spreading the Good News.

Catholic University of America

The Catholic University of America is the only institution of higher education founded by U.S. bishops. It was established in 1887 and is located in Washington, D.C., next to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

CUA programs focus on the liberal arts, professional education and personal development. There are six schools in CUA awarding undergraduate degrees and 10 that offer graduate degrees.

Retirement Fund for Religious

There are over 80,000 retired Religious in the United States. They served their Church in many capacities - nurse, teacher, missionary, faithful pray-er. Religious did not participate in the Social Security system until 1972 and now many of them live on incomes below the poverty level. The Church owes these faithful servants a debt of gratitude for their work in passing on the Good News.

One of the ways the Church can respond to their fidelity is by helping them living in dignity now that they are no longer able to work. Many Catholics can tell of a Sister, Brother, or order priest who shaped them as young people.

Catholics who donate to this collection for the U.S. Church are following an ancient practice. Collecting donations to support the broader church is Scriptural, going back to St. Paul, who often asked the new Christians to be generous in supporting churches elsewhere. And that is what is asked of Catholics who donate to this collection: that they will be as generous as they can. In that way the apostolic work of the Church can continue.

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